The 89th edition of the Rallye Monte-Carlo was nothing short of magic. Each constructor gave it their all on an almost completely different but still treacherous route. However, no one could keep up with the blistering pace of Sébastien Ogier, as he tore up the competition to secure a record-breaking eighth Monte victory.
Ogier’s drive was nothing short of spellbinding, thanks to a lethal combination of a top class crew, car and co-driver in the form of Julien Ingrassia. Nevertheless, the journey to victory certainly wasn’t easy, and the veteran got off to a poor start in fifth place on day one due to brake issues. The following days and roads were filled with a considerable amount of slippery ice, making for a challenging contest and some very edgy driving, as you can see below:
Throughout the rally, Ogier’s fellow Toyota Gazoo Racing team driver Elfyn Evans was never comfortably out of sight, but ultimately the Welshman finished in second place. Toyota’s newly-appointed team principal Jari-Matti Latvala would surely be satisfied with his drivers’ rankings, as two additional Toyota drivers rounded out the top six, with only two Hyundai drivers between them.
Hyundai’s Ott Tanak suffered an unenviable tyre puncture fiasco, which eventually resulted in the 2019 World Rally Champion’s early retirement from the event. Ford M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen was forced to withdraw from the event much earlier, as the Finn crashed hard in the opening stage of the rally.
On Sunday, January 24, the drivers completed the rally and made their way to Monaco’s Port Hercule for a coronavirus restriction compliant closing ceremony.
The Automobile Club de Monaco managed to organise a worthy 110th anniversary edition of the world’s oldest rally, given the difficult circumstances, and Ogier’s historic finish made it all the more special.
Featured image courtesy of the Automobile Club de Monaco, the top three crews take their places on the podium next to HSH Prince Albert